It Takes Grassroots Effort to Support Entrepreneurs

2/17/11

Entrepreneurship has fueled economic growth and innovation throughout the Bay Area’s history. We applaud President Barack Obama’s call to action and the White House Startup America program to support entrepreneurs. In California’s innovation economy we have seen first hand that entrepreneurship is key to driving job creation and economic development.

The Federal bureaucracy can raise awareness and create fiscal incentives to promote innovation, but they are looking to industry and local organizations to assist in implementation, and BayBio is heeding the call to action by providing grass roots support to Bay Area life science entrepreneurs.

First and foremost, our entrepreneurs need capital. It’s out there. As of the third quarter of 2010, according to PriceWaterhouse Coopers, venture capital investment is on track to outpace 2009 by $500 million, and proposed legislation to provide matching grants for private investment and tax incentives for small business investment may help direct this capital to early stage companies. To increase visibility of early stage investment opportunities amongst our world class venture community, BayBio is holding the 8th Annual Life Science Entrepreneur and Investor Roundtables on February 24th. This iconic speed dating event for startups and investors and an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and get on the radar of key funders early.

BayBio is launching two new programs on February 24th. First, BayBio is bringing mentors to start up companies. The BioEntrepreneur Help Desk connects startup companies with experts from the Bay Area’s service community experts. Our startups often need help with the business side of their companies and the BioEntrepreneur Help Desk provides pro bono support for business planning, legal and other auxiliary services.

Second, we are introducing the BayBio Fellows Program, a one-year scholarship providing early-stage companies of seven employees or fewer with discounted rates on lab supplies and other services, best practice seminars, conferences, and other networking events.

Both the Entrepreneur Help Desk and BayBio Fellows Program will be launched at the Entrepreneur and Investor Roundtables, allowing participating entrepreneurs to access Help Desk experts and apply for the Fellows Program on site.

The Obama Administration has set the right tone by recognizing entrepreneurship’s key role in American innovation and economic competitiveness. The Northern California life science industry is out in front in making this happen at the local level.

Gail Maderis is President & CEO of BayBio, the industry organization representing and supporting Northern California’s life science community. Follow @

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